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300 Hawai'i students 'Give Thanks Around the World'

by Susan Kreifels

Conch shells, African djembe drums, and about 300 students, including members of Circle K at HPU, kicked off the fourth annual Hawai‘i International Education Week, which runs Nov. 17-21.

The U.S. State Department’s Patricia Harrison, assistant secretary of state for Educational and Cultural Affairs, welcomed the students to the Nov. 13 opening ceremony at the East-West Center’s Imin Center. It was followed by student-designed and student-led workshops throughout the morning on the themes of how, when, and why people around the world give thanks.



The workshops covered all the five key world regions: Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific. Activities included such diverse cultural celebrations as the Harvest Yam Festival in Ghana and Nigeria and the Swiss Onion Festival in Switzerland.

“ As we embark on our holiday of thanksgiving, we’re using the ideas of ‘thanks’ and ‘gratitude’ as universal, core values shared by all cultures around the world, linking us as one world,” said program coordinator Terrina Wong of the Wo International Center at Punahou School, one of the co-sponsors of Hawai‘i International Education Week.

Hawai‘i has been at the forefront of all the states in organizing global-learning activities, since the U.S. Departments of State and Education first proclaimed International Education Week across the nation four years ago.

Other Hawai‘i International Education Week activities included recognition of Hawai‘i’s top global educators and middle- and high school programs on global conservation of water, scheduled for Dec. 11.

Co-sponsors of the Fourth Annual Hawai‘i International Education Week are the East-West Center, the EWC’s AsiaPacificEd Program for Schools, Group 70, Hanahau‘oli School, Hawai‘i Institute for Human Rights, Circle K at HPU, Hokulani School, Pacific and Asian Affairs Council, Punahou School, the state of Hawai‘i Department of Education, United Nations Association-USA Hawai‘i Division, UH-Manoa International Student Association and Wo International Center at Punahou School.

The participating students in Thursday’s event come from grades 3-6 at Epiphany, Hanahau‘oli, Ho‘ala, Hokulani, Hongwanji Mission, Kuhio, Monetessori Community, and Punahou schools.
Visit EastWestCenter. org for more information. .


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